The Freud/Jung Letters

"The Freud/Jung Letters." Review of The Freud-Jung Letters: The Correspondence Between Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung, edited by William McGuire, translated by Ralph Manheim and R.F.C. Hull (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974). New York Times Book Review, April 21, 1974, 1, 32-35.


The relationship between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung had its bright beginning in 1906 and came to its embittered end in 1913. Its disastrous course was charted by the many letters the two men wrote each other. Of these a few have been lost but there are 360 extant, of which 164 are from Freud, 196 from Jung. In 1970 the Freud and Jung families made the enlightened decision that this correspondence was to be edited as a unit, and it is now published, simultaneously in German and in English. In no way does it disappoint the large expectation it has naturally aroused. Both as it bears upon the personal lives of the men between whom the letters passed and upon the intellectual history of our epoch, it is a document of inestimable importance.

In 1906 Freud was 50 years old, by no means an anonymous figure in psychiatry but far from content with the acceptance that had so far been accorded his ideas. Jung was 31, already well- established in his profession, second in command at the widely-known psychiatric hospital at Zürich, the Burghölzli, whose chief was the redoubtable Eugen Bleuler. The relationship began with Jung’s sending Freud a copy of a volume of studies he had supervised in which the importance of psychoanalysis was handsomely acknowledged. Freud received the gift with delight; actually, indeed, having heard how gratifying his name had figured in the book, he had already bought a copy. With his brief but fervent note of thanks the correspondence begins.

New York Times Book Review